Ancient Egypt is often called "a country made of stone". The Nile valley and the nearby deserts are rich
in various rock stones: limestone, sandstone, quartzite, granite, alabaster (calc spar), touchstone, breccia,
marble, porphyrite, diorite, greywacke, plaster, claystone, serpentine, steatite, calc sinter, etc. Travelers
have always been impressed by majestic stone pyramids, temples, and tombs. But long before they were
built, in the Pre-Dynaistic period, Egyptian masters had perfected their craft of stone vessels making.
They were often carved out of limestone, touchstone, breccia, marble, and serpentine. The type of stone
used for a vessel may have played a symbolic role. Stone vessels of the early period are very versatile.
Sometimes they are shaped as animals, fish, or birds.